Baby development

A baby’s brain is shaped by its experiences. From as early as seven weeks’ gestation, the key process of synapse formation begins in the brain.1 At its peak, up to 1.8 million new synaptic connections are created per second, more than double the amount that will ultimately be needed. Which synapses are preserved and which are destroyed are determined by a baby’s experiences during the first years of life. During this period, there is rapid development of the majority of the brain’s neural pathways supporting communication, social development, understanding and emotional well-being.2

Everything a baby touches, sees, hears or feels, as part of this multisensory simulation, sends signals to the brain that facilitate the long-term survival of synaptic connections within the neural pathways and permanently influence the structure and function of the brain.1 This is particularly essential in the first three years of life as, by this stage, 85% of a baby’s brain is already developed.3 Experiences that are repetitive, consistent, predictable and nurturing contribute to healthy development of the brain. Tactile, visual, auditory and olfactory stimulation has been shown to provide multiple benefits for babies and their parents.4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

Everyday rituals such as bath time provide an ideal opportunity to create an enriched multisensory experience that enhances emotional, cognitive and physical development. For example, a simple routine that includes a warm bath followed by massage with a moisturiser and quiet activities, is scientifically proven to improve quality and quantity of sleep in babies and improve maternal mood state.13

Developmental benefits of multisensory
stimulation: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12